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BETHANY CLINCHES #1 SEED WITH 76-64 WIN AT SAINT VINCENT
Feb. 18 - LATROBE, Pa. – Junior Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) scored 19 points and junior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) tallied 14 of his 16 in the second half to lead the Bethany College men’s basketball team to a 76-64 victory at Saint Vincent Saturday in the regular season finale.
The triumph clinched the number one seed and home court advantage throughout next week’s PAC Tournament for the Bison. It also improved their record to 22-3 overall, tying the school record for regular season wins, and 14-2 in the PAC. The Bearcats fell to 18-7 and 11-5 in the league.
Bethany used a couple surges in the first half to build a 12-point halftime cushion. Mabery canned a pair of threes and junior James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) hit one to spark a 13-3 charge that gave BC a 22-12 lead. The Bearcats trimmed the deficit down to five before Mabery and junior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) had two buckets each during a 10-3 half-ending run that sent the Bison to a 41-29 lead at the intermission.
Saint Vincent made a big move to open the second half. A three by Tauvon Pettiford capped a 13-1 run that cut the BC lead down to a basket. Bethany finally managed a couple scores, but SVC kept coming and when Chris Klimchock knocked down a trey with 12:36 to play, the hosts were within a point at 46-45.
Following a media timeout, Bethany regrouped and put together a run to gain some distance from the Bearcats. Pacific buried a three out of the timeout and then drove in for a lay-up to complete a 9-0 run that took BC’s lead to 55-45. Saint Vincent mounted one more threat to get within six, but Pacific answered again with a three-pointer and the home team was never closer than eight the rest of the way. Pacific would put an exclamation point on the victory with a breakaway dunk late and Bethany clinched its first PAC regular season crown since 2007-08.
The Bison finished the night with five scorers in double digits, led by Mabery, who had 16 of his 19 in the first half to help boost the Green and White to the halftime lead. Pacific finished the game 7-of-9 from the floor for 16 points and also made five steals. Barton added 15, Wilcox posted 13 points, seven rebounds and six steals and senior British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) chipped in 12 markers.
For Saint Vincent, Klimchock hit four three-pointers and had a team-best 16 points, while Dillon Stith came off the bench to notch 15 and Pettiford scored 13 points.
With the #1 seed, Bethany will open the PAC Tournament Tuesday night in an 8 p.m. tip-off at Nutting Gymnasium. They will play the winner of the play-in game Monday, which will pit #9 Waynesburg (4-21, 1-15) at #8 Westminster (6-19, 4-12).